Spagetti Squash Au Gratin

I love pinterest.  A lot.  But so many of the recipes I can’t have any more.  The doctors put me on a low (read: almost no) carbs diet.  So when I find a low/no carb recipe that looks good I use it.  I love au gratin potatoes, but we usually only have them at holidays (or with ham).  So carb free au gratin?  Yes please!

We love spaghetti squash.  It has great texture (a bit crispy if not over cooked), no carbs, and easily substituted with pasta.  Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash.  Winter squash is thus named because they store well through the winter.  It is allowed to mature into full fruits with hard rinds.  Summer squash, on the other hand, is not allowed to fully mature.  If you have ever seen a full grown zucchini you will understand why.  Until recently, the origins of this great gourd were shadowed.  But thanks to an extraordinarily thorough review of the possible history of this delicious squash on the Polyglot Vegetarian blog, we now know that the first variety was actually developed in China, and then popularized here over the last 80 years.

You can use spaghetti squash any way that you would use spaghetti.  It holds up wonderfully well to cooking.  Cover it in sauce, eat it just buttered (we love that as a side), do whatever you like.

Regardless, it is important to know how to properly prepare the squash before you try to use it.  If you over cook it you will end up with squash that is quite mushy.  You can either cook it in the oven, or in the microwave.  Unless you are doing a couple of them at once, I recommend the microwave.  It’s much faster.  Regardless, you want to prepare it by cutting off the stem end just so you can cut through it.  Then set it up on that cut end and cut it in half lengthwise.  Scoop the seeds and such out of the middle.  (Delicious option: rinse the seeds clean, toss in some salt, and roast in the oven for a snack.)  Get out a glass baking dish.  Put in the squash cut side down, and put in about an inch of water in the bottom.  Microwave for 10 minutes, or cook in the oven for about 40 minutes.  Whatever you do–don’t put it in whole!  One of the ladies in my weight watchers group did that, and it exploded everywhere.  You will know it’s done when you use tongs and pinch it across the middle (short ways) and it gives, but doesn’t collapse easily.

To get it stringy, tip it up again and let it cool a bit so you don’t burn yourself.  Take two forks and scrape in different directions.  This will sting it wonderfully.  Make sure to have a bowl nearby so that you have somewhere to put your bounty.  Scrape down all the way to the shell.

Check out the original recipe at Dandy Dishes Blog.  This may not be a low fat recipe, but it is low carb, and that’s enough low for me!

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

These directions are for each large squash.  We doubled it and it made enough for plenty of left overs.


  1. 1 large spaghetti squash
  2. 1/2 c light sour cream (alt: heavy cream or half and half)
  3. 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like sharp) (alt: gruyere)
  4. 1/4 onion, very thinly sliced
  5. 1 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces.
  6. 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you want it spicier)
  7. 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  8. A few scrapings of fresh nutmeg.  Or a pinch of dry.


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Prepare the spaghetti squash in the microwave or oven.  If you are doubling the amount, it’s probably faster to fit them all in the oven.
  3. Let the squash cool a bit in a bowl.  Mix in the sour cream, half of the cheese, the butter, the very thinly sliced onion (I emphasize very thin, and in sizes you can eat easily), and the seasonings into the squash.
  4. Put the mixture in a sprayed baking dish.  Top with the remaining cheese.  Bake for about 30 minutes.
  5. Broil for about 5 more minutes until bubbly and brown and you start salivating.
  6. Let sit for about 10 minutes to absorb the liquid.  I dabbed off the cheese grease from the top.
  7. Eat it and melt into a blob of happiness.

About dietforfoodies

I am a lawyer who loves to grow, cook, and eat food.
This entry was posted in Sides, Simple and Quick, Squash/Root Vegetables, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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